How to always show ‘sale price’ in Google Shopping Ads

Google Merchant Center allows you to provide two prices for your products—a regular price and a sale price. When you use your Merchant Centre product feed to create Google Shopping ads, products that have a sale price are displayed with a little badge indicating that it’s on sale, as well as a strikethrough of the original price.

In order to prevent this feature from being abused, Google will only use the sale price for a maxiumum of 30 days. Additionally, the original price must remain unchanged for 30 days prior to the sale commencing. Once the 30 day sale period elapses, your Google Shopping ad will always display the higher regular price even if it’s still on sale.

Recently, we were optimizing the Google Ads for a WooCommerce site where every product is on sale all the time. The regular price field is used to show the product’s recommended retail price, and then the sale price field is used to show the actual everday store price of that product.

This created an issue with the store’s Google Ads campaigns, because every product was being advertised at the recommended retail price instead of the actual price. Few other stores sell at RRP, so our client’s ads were always showing prices significantly higher than most competitors. As you might expect, the ads weren’t getting very many clicks.

We thought the obvious solution was to use the sale price field instead of the regular price field when creating the product feed. Unfortunately, none of the major WooCommerce Google product feed plugins (including the AUD $100/year plugin provided by WooCommerce) offered this pretty basic functionality.

Luckily, you can use Google Merchant Center rules to swap the regular price value for the sale price value when necessary.

To do this, go to Products -> Feeds in the left-hand sidebar. Click on your primary feed under the Primary Feeds section, and then select the Feed rules tab.

Click the little plus icon to create a new rule. The logic of your rules should be:

If {your feed}.price is greater than {your feed}.sale price
AND {your feed}.sale price has a value

Set to

{your feed}.sale price

The screenshot below shows what the rule should look like when setup correctly.

Merchant Center will give you an opportunity to preview the changes that your feed rule will make to your product feed before publishing. On a mid-sized store with 250 products it will take about half an hour for the feed preview to be generated,

Once the rule has been applied, all of your Google Shopping Ads will use the sale price instead of the regular price. You won’t have the little “Sale” icon appear on any of your ads, but at least the prices will be correct.

Shane Gowland

Hi! I’m a web designer, software developer, and digital marketer based in South Australia. I've been building websites on WordPress for over 12 years. You can learn more about the projects and businesses I'm involved with on my website.

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